Published On : Fri, Feb 26th, 2016

A Twitter duel between Smriti Irani & Barkha Dutt creates ‘mocking’ ripples

Barkha Dutt and Smriti IraniNew Delhi/Nagpur: A volatile topic sparked in the country when Human Resource Development Minister and a senior journalist waged a Twitter fight.

Union Minister Smriti Irani was going about her day when journalist Barkha Dutt tagged her in a tweet where she was promoting her latest column: A Letter To PM Modi From ‘Anti-National Sickular Presstitute’ Barkha Dutt

Here’s what started the fight:

Barkha Dutt
✔‎@BDUTT
Minister @smritiirani says JNU insulted Mother India. But what of compassionate, gentler side of Mothers?
Irani took offence and shot a flustered reply:
Smriti Z Irani
✔‎@smritiirani
@BDUTT Madam find me 1 quote where I have named JNU else let it be known to the world once again u peddle lies.
Dutt dug up a newspaper report for proof:
Barkha Dutt
✔‎@BDUTT
@smritiirani ma’am eg: read this in @dna wasnt your ref to JNU students charged with sedition. All papers said so?
… and, another:
Barkha Dutt
✔‎@BDUTT
@smritiirani and here is Business standard saying the same on your comment on JNU issue
… and, another:
Barkha Dutt
✔‎@BDUTT
@smritiirani and here is Business standard saying the same on your comment on JNU issue
Someone else butted in with the quote in question:
Naqshband ‎@naqshband
@smritiirani Ma’am, but you statement “Bharat Mata ka apmaan” was in the backdrop of JNU issue. Wasn’t it?
Barkha Dutt
✔‎@BDUTT
@naqshband @smritiirani that’s what I read in all newspapers. Have posted link to DNA. Can attach other links too
But Irani wasn’t buying any of that:
Smriti Z Irani
✔‎@smritiirani
@BDUTT Apne jhooth ke liye doosro ka sahara mat lijiye. Maine aaj tak issue pe JNU ke naam se newspaper aur TV channel ko quote nahi diya.
That’s when Dutt took a direct swing:
Barkha Dutt
✔‎@BDUTT
@smritiirani so ma’am are you accusing almost the entire print media of “jhhooth”? And just curious whom were your comments directed at then
Irani on the defensive:
Smriti Z Irani
✔‎@smritiirani
@BDUTT u point out to certain journos and their reports to help ur cause but ur claim itself shows a systematic attempt to derail facts.

And, that’s when Dutt took offence:
Barkha Dutt
✔‎@BDUTT
@smritiirani no idea why you needlessly personalise. However if I am a “liar” so are BS, DNA& 10 newspapers that wrote this. Agreed?
Of course, Twitter wasn’t going to let a first-class spat go unnoticed. There on began a debate of whether Irani was commenting on Jawaharlal Nehru University or Yale.

The Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal too added fuel to the spat when he tweeted:
Arvind Kejriwal ‎@Airwindkejriwal
@BDUTT Proud of you for peddling lies so sweetly.